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Published: February 4th 2009
LCDM ... the climb up...
and up and up and up and up.....
La Casa del Mundo, Jaibilito
When this was all a month's vacation plan, I had included a few hotel stays in my month, thinking that I may be feeling a bit isolated in my apartment and in need of some socialization from time to time. When it moved from a vacation plan to a 'retirement' plan, I cancelled some hotels but kept just this one. I had already paid for one night of it, so I figured for $75/nt for the primo room #13 with the full frontal view of the lake, why not...and I am so glad i did!
I arrived at their dock, just a short 10 mins ride from my dock at Pasajcap, and climbed the 300 steps to reception, where I needed to sit down and catch my breath. Man, am I out of shape! When I was ready I was shown the way to my room, one level up from the restaurant. STUNNING!! What a charming place this is. I absolutely loved my room with all the color and antique art, weavings and furnishings. The view was amazing! I know my pics do not do it justice...
A woman came along and asked if
she could take my pic as she saw me snapping away. I am not sure I have it, but if I do I will post it.
Dinner was being served at 6:30 communal style, so I got ready and went down. I was seated next to another solo woman, Kerri, from Seattle, who was on a birthday trip to herself (she turned 50 the next day). Next to Kerri, was Jenny and across from her, her friend, Cathy, both from Ashville, NC and then across from Kerri and I were Nigel and Geordie, partners and retirees from Vancouver. Well, we all hit it off so well, that we hung out together for breakfast, lunch, and dinner the next day too. The restaurant closes when the candles burn out, about 9:30. The next day we heard of some complaints from other guests... that we were a little to noisy! HA!
The next morning after breakfast I was invited to join Kerri and Jenny for a hike to Santa Cruz. "Sure I would love too!" (Ahhh, little did I know what this would entail....it just about killed me)...
Check out the pics of the views from the trail looking down
on the hotel! Well, just climbing up to the trail was a million and half steps...well I lost count at 200...but I KNOW...it was close to a million!!!
Well from there it was more of an uphill climb and then eventually tappered down to the foot of the village of Santa Cruz. The hike was amazing...beautiful...magical. The trail was so narrow that if you lost your footing, you would have been off the side of the cliff. But...when we got to the foot of the village...it was then a long and steady uphill climb of a grade equal to climbing a flight of stairs ... but without the bannister!! I have tried to take shots of some of these grades, but they just don;t show up as steep as they really are. The village itself was an experience I will never forget. There are no child labor laws in Guatemala evidently. We saw children carrying huge loads of cinder blocks on their backs uphill...one little boy was in front of me shuffling in a pair of sneakers that must have been his fathers while carrying one of these loads. We watched as a young girl of no more than 6...
tie a cinder block with a clothesline rope and knot it in such a way that she was able to hoist it onto her little back and carry it up a short distance to a nearby tiende. We were the only tourists in the village. We felt like intruders, yet we did not feel unwelcomed. At one point Jenny peeked inside a courtyard to a home (tiin roofed hut) and could see a young woman on a backstrap loom and asked her if we could come in and watch her. She motioned for us to enter. Her mother was in front of her on a loom as well, but never turned around to acknowledge our presence, never loosing site of her work in front of her. i wanted to take a photo, but Jenny did not think it appropriate without the mother's permission. I was not about to ask.
As we were making our way back down the main village road, Kerri and Jenny told me they were putting me on the launcha (ha! do you think they were tired of carrying my dead weight around...huffing and puffing my way along behind them???) ... to which I gladly agreed.
That night at dinner, on my left were seated two young men who were also partners....two gorgeous young men 38 and 40. Martin from Ontario and Deitmar from Berlin. I spent most of the night talking to them with Cathy. They intended to come by my apartment during their time on the lake, but they never did. I would have liked to see them again. I enjoyed them very much.
To all of my friends and family who are reading this, I can hear what you are all saying......
Two nights in a row and she is seated next to four men and they are all gay!!
HAHA! It would hardly have been as relaxed and as fun otherwise...it was perfectly perfect!
The next day,
another couple I met, Lynn and Jim from Toronto (who happen to come to Mashpee every year, because his close cousin lives there....(the world just keeps getting smaller everyday) joined Jenny and I on a short hike to the village of Jaibilito. This was less strenuous and a bit quieter...although no less heartbreaking. Here I was approached by a boy of about 7 with his two younger brothers, ages 5 and 3......and asked
open the door ...
lovely bath immediately on the right....walk straight ahead...
if I would like to take their picture for 'uno quetzales". A few other children tried to hone in on his photo opp...but he shooed them away....one little girl made it into the photo anyway.
As we made our way down the road back towards the water at the base of the village...children were running up to me saying...foto..uno quetzales....foto ... uno quetzales! I was surrounded by 10 or more children. If I had 10 uno quetzales to give them I would have. I didn't. Unfortunately, money is the least of what they need. I would not know where to begin here. Perhaps with teaching them to dispose of their trash in receptacles...instead of into shallow ditches on the side of the road. What I find so interesting, is that they are all dressed so elegantly in their typical traje, of hand embroidered blouses and loomed skirts and belts and head wraps. Each village has it's own colors. So everyone looks well dressed, coming out of their one room tin roofed huts.
My time ended after having lunch and a game of scrabble with Jenny and Cathy. (I WON! by one point!) It was a wonderful time and
I feel I made some great new friends, whom I hope to meet up with again. Cathy and I are already planning Abergris Caye, Victoria House Hotel, in Belize for next Janaury. What fun!
I headed back to my apartment, and crashed for the whole entire next day. A day of rest was in order!
i chose to post the photos at the end...
perhaps viewing as a slide show will work well? I hope you all enjoy! What an experience I am having....and i enjoy taking you on this journey with me...
Miss you and Love you all,
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